A 19-year-old man accused of bashing a Hemet resident in the head with a fire extinguisher during a robbery, inflicting life-threatening injuries, was charged Thursday with attempted murder and robbery.
Joseph Thomas Anzelmo, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility, is slated to make his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon at the Banning Justice Center on the two felony charges, with sentence-enhancing allegations of using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony and inflicting injuries resulting in a coma.
Hemet police Lt. Jeff Davis alleged that Anzelmo confronted the 30-year-old victim, whose name was withheld, about 5:30 a.m. Monday in the 100 block of Stetson Avenue, near State Street.
Anzelmo demanded the man’s money and belongings, and when the victim resisted, the defendant struck him in the head with the fire extinguisher, Davis alleged.
Anzelmo allegedly ran away with the victim’s possessions, but he was tailed by a witness, who contacted 911, pointing patrol officers to where they needed to find him, according to Davis.
He said the young man was located and taken into custody without a struggle.
The victim remains in critical condition at a regional trauma center, the lieutenant said.
Anzelmo has no documented prior felony convictions.